By Chris Noe, Senior Vice President – Product Innovation and Partnerships, Wells Fargo
Talk to a small or mid-size business leader, and there’s no need to make the case for ditching paper in your accounts payable (AP) or accounts receivable (AR) processes. These hard-working, hands-on managers know exactly how every dollar saved—and every minute gained—contributes to overall business success.
When it comes to electronic payments and treasury automation, what these companies need most are solutions that get you up-and-running fast, without complicated IT involvement or big-budget price tags.
Save time in AP, get paid faster in AR
Today, electronic payment platforms put the advantages of automation within easy reach for small and mid-sized companies. These cloud-based solutions connect your suppliers, your customers, and your bank through an intuitive interface. They make each step in the billing and payments process simple and secure for all parties involved.
Faster payments and stronger cash flow are two of the biggest potential advantages. Your business can pay and process supplier bills in minutes, with more control of final payment timing. Users report saving as much as 50 percent of time on business bill pay.1 With customer payments, many billers receive payments twice as quickly, thanks to electronic channels.2
For growing businesses, other benefits include:
- Greater productivity, with less data entry and busywork for AP, AR, or back-office accounting functions
- Reduced payment processing costs compared to manual, paper-based workflows
- Stronger visibility to invoice, payment, and cash flow status
- Faster, easier reconciliation
Your suppliers and customers gain:
- Payment in their preferred method of ACH or check
- Electronic efficiencies, thanks to electronic billing and secure payment portals
- Easy communication with you, including payment status and friendly electronic reminders
- Greater satisfaction with your working relationship
Powerful features to help growing businesses
As your organization considers the right platform for your company, look for these time-saving capabilities. These features can help you choose a solution that not only helps you right now, but scales as your business grows.
Important capabilities include:
- Accounting system integration. Look for pre-built integration with common accounting packages like QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite, and Intacct. This functionality automates data exchange; there’s no need to re-enter data, upload and download files, or involve IT in your setup.
- Broad network. A do-it-yourself approach to converting your customers and suppliers to electronic payments can require significant outreach. A key advantage of online platforms is tapping into their pre-enrolled network of businesses and consumers. Some of the largest, most successful networks number participants in the millions.
- Mobile access. Whether your team works from the office, home, or anywhere in between, secure mobile access keeps your finance processes humming smoothly. In seconds, you can view, route, approve, and track your bills and payments on a smartphone or mobile device. Notifications alert team members to items requiring their attention.
- Smart scanning. Tired of manual data entry? Innovative platforms now harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to handle it for you. Imagine the time savings when these smart scanning tools “read” all your incoming bills and auto-populate the fields for supplier name, invoice number, amount, date, and more.
- Outsourced check printing. While most suppliers prefer electronic payment, a few will always gravitate to checks. That doesn’t mean your company needs to maintain the infrastructure or devote staff time to printing and mailing those checks. Many platforms are true “all-in-one” solutions that allow you to outsource check printing as well as ACH delivery.
While your options are many, signing up through your bank ensures fast and secure implementation, as well as easy access from your existing banking portal. These “right-sized” solutions are perfect for growing companies ready to compete more effectively, power efficient growth, and strengthen your important customer and supplier relationships.
For more information, contact your Wells Fargo treasury management representative or fill out the Contact Us form on this site.
1 Bill.com, https://www.bill.com/product/accounts-payable/, accessed June 18, 2021
2 Bill.com, https://www.bill.com/product/accounts-receivable/, accessed June 18, 2021
TM-3260 | 07/21